I struggle and shuffle stuff around in my head to make sense of my money thoughts. I’ve perused Susie Ormand books. I’ve listened to podcasts and pinned books and talked about it with my husband and my therapist. I just don’t have a very good relationship with my money thoughts. And that’s a problem.
In the past, money was the source of fights with my ex. I made it and he spent it. I did a really good job bailing myself out of debt after that marriage to buy my house. I had worked hard for a good credit score and we got the house because of it. But 14 years in this dilapidated house, two new businesses, fixed roofs and appliances, a surprise hospital visit while uninsured, and two babies later and we’ve definitely hit a monetary wall. We spent more than we made and our debt scared me.
There is such a lack of abundance hangover in our American society. It manifests as an obsession of more for less. A friend pointed out to me that getting more of any thing, be it clothes or makeup or stuff, doesn’t equate to more happiness. It’s as if this never enough mentality is our birth right. Never skinny enough, slept enough, appreciated enough, or have time enough. It’s a perpetual spinning cycle of not enoughness. No one sees what they really have, their family or good health, as something to be grateful for.
“Not-enoughness certainly shows up in our money relationships — but it goes deeper than that. It’s a mindset. A way of being founded in the illusion of deprivation, instead of in the reality of provision, gratitude, and sufficiency in the here-and-now. Enoughness is not a static accomplishment: it lives and breathes in you.” Bari Tessler from her brilliant post It’s Never Just About the Money , and excerpt from her The Art of Money book.
This is basic primal stuff. Well known psychologist Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs theory says you can not grow when your primary needs of food and shelter are not met. Homeless and hungry is not a good thing for your psyche and you won’t feel good about yourself to be able to contribute what you have to give. There are many psychological nuances at play around money and it’s power over self-worth even when you seemingly have enough. Self-worth and love has become entangled in my money mind and it’s messing me up.
As a kid, I experienced my mom’s shame around a bout with unemployment and receiving government funds and that felt like shame and less-than-ness. I am always subconsciously fearful of being there again so I keep my credit scores good by making timely payments. I try to pay a little over my credit card minimums. But I act richer than I am. Not wanting to be caught with yellowing underwear or needing the flea meds for the cats, I bought those on credit. Mark’s business needed time to stand by itself. Perhaps , as Bari Tessler suggests, this is not about money at all but our perception of enough.
We can easily spend more than we make. With one income and 4 people with needs, sometimes you just can’t say no. A gift from a family member alleviated some of our worries for paying our taxes and provided a needed reprieve during a very stressful time when Mark lost his Dad. But this is still a very weighty subject for me. I’m not earning anything and that makes me feel less-than. Even though I do my job well, it’s a non-paying job.
My major problem is that I just don’t know how to be OK with money thoughts.
My major problem is that I just don’t know how to be OK with money thoughts. There’s anxiety and love struggles buried under there. I’m so disassociated from monetary abundance thoughts that I recognize it as a downfall. A personal fault. A retardation of a sort. I also know that if I’m going to be writing and asking for money, the money problems are going to block me from the writing. And that’s the biggest problem of all. When money fears impede with artistic expression and growth, I need an intervention.
I am gathering my materials and my thoughts and I also need to gather a support group I suppose. If you have any references to suggest, please share. If you have had any similar set backs, I’d love to hear your stories. I work hard to keep it all organized, balance the checkbooks immediately when the statement comes in, and try to make a budget for us. But I think that’s all superficial, that the relationship I have with money and success is where my work lies. Seeing it as energy/permission and not cash/greed/stuff may be the direction I need to head in. And appreciating what I have. Cheryl Crow sings, “It’s not getting what you want, it’s wanting what you’ve got.”
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